Jan
22
2009

4 Wire Range Plug Receptacle

A four wire range receptacle – AKA stove plug, or range plug – is extremely similar to other large 240 volt receptacles.  This particular installation is of a surface mounted receptacle.

This article is for informational purposes only, and it may be entirely or partly incorrect.  Electrical work should only be performed by qualified persons. Anyone who does electrical work must always follow all safety rules and guidelines. Read the Safety Rules for Electrical work before going any further.  By continuing you agree that you are responsible for your own actions.

Just one note before you start:  The wires that connect to a 50 or 60 amp plug are quite stiff, and the receptacle must be securely attached to the surface – plastic drywall anchors will not be adequate.  You really need to be able to drive two or more screws into solid framing, and if the wire is roughed out in a location where that is not possible you should address that issue before you proceed.

This is what you should be starting with – the correct sized wire sticking out from the wall in the correct location.  This stove wire is 3 – 6 guage copper conductors plus one 10 guage (smaller) ground conductor, and it is roughed out about 2-3 inches above the floor behind the range.  This is about ideal.

Assemble your receptacle for the correct configuration based upon the instructions that come with it – don’t remove the wrong knock out! If you do remove the incorrect knockout in a moment of excessive enthusiasm you can actually get a UL approved plug from a wiring supplier to correct such a mistake – you can’t just leave an open hole.


Trial fit the receptacle, and mark the insulation 1/4″ or so into the device.

Carefully remove the outer insulation and any packings that may be in there.  Be careful that you don’t cut into the insulation of the individual conductors.

Screw the stove plug frame to the wall using screws that are long enough to give good penetration into the underlying wall framing.  Do Not use screws that are longer than  needed or you might drive the screw through the wire inside the wall – that would be bad!

Tighten the cable clamp snugly.  This doesn’t need to be incredibly tight, and overtightening cable clamps can dammage wires, and cause shorts.

Bend the individual conducters along side of their final location and mark them to be cut to length, and strip the insualation.  Note that you just don’t have room in there for any excess wire – you have to cut it the right length.  You simply can’t leave it long in case you mess up.  So, pay attention to what you are doing, because cutting a wire too short could be a lot of trouble to correct.

Make all of the individual connections based upon the instructions that come with your range plug.

With all of the connections made you can see that there isn’t much room for error as far as wire length goes.  Also notice how close the individual wires come to the other connections – that is one reason that you don’t want to strip off too much insulation – or accidentally dammage it.  If you are dealing with a wire with damaged insulation – maybe from a botched previous job – you need to repair the insualtion with UL approved electrical tape – not the 50 cent a roll stuff from the flea market.

Once you put the cover on this job is finished.  This 4 wire range plug is almost identical to surface mounted dryer receptacles, welder plugs, and many other 4 wire surface mount receptacles.

In most areas you must get an inspection for a new installation.  In some areas you don’t need an inspection if you are just changing out an existing device or fixture.  In some places it might be against the law for anyone other than a licensed electrician to do even a small job like this.  Check with your  local codes department before you start.

Written by David LaFerney in: Electrical Wiring,Home Improvement |

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